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Find the Best Home Supplies and Tool Companies

by Jonathan Trout ConsumerAffairs Research Team

With so many brands, models and types of tools on the market, choosing the right one for the job can be overwhelming. Use our guide to select the best home supply and tool company for you. We explain what to look for in different types of home supply and tool companies and how to compare features. Whatever your project may be, this guide will help you find the right materials.

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What features matter most when it comes to home supplies and tools?

What types of tools are there?

There are tools to help you tackle almost any project. Whether you’re a homeowner who needs to fix a leaky faucet or a contractor who handles all kinds of projects, you can choose from three main categories.

  • Manual tools: Manual tools, like screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, saws and socket sets, are operated by human power. They are best for small, everyday projects. Most manual tools fit inside a standard toolbox.
  • Power tools: Power tools can be handheld or stand-alone machines and are powered by electricity, batteries or gas. Use these for larger jobs like building furniture or home structures like decks. Power tools include table saws, drills, chainsaws and grinders.
  • Lawn and gardening tools: Gardening tools are handheld and can be manual or powered by electricity or gas. They help you easily maintain your landscape. Things like shovels, rakes, tillers, weed eaters and lawn mowers are commonly-used lawn and gardening tools.

How do I buy paint?

Most home improvement stores carry a large selection of paint brands, colors and sheens or finishes. What you buy will depend on your project. You’ll need different paint for interiors and exteriors as well as for art and DIY projects. If you’re painting interior or exterior walls, look for a combination paint and primer to eliminate an extra step.

  • Primer: Primer is used as a base coat on unpainted surfaces. It prevents rust on metal surfaces and the absorption of paint on walls and other surfaces. It also ensures a more even, rich color when the paint dries–particularly on surfaces undergoing a dramatic color change. Most paint comes with primer already mixed in.
  • Interior paint: Interior paints have chemical properties that help them stand up to daily wear and tear, and they give off fewer fumes than exterior paint. Most interior paints are designed to withstand scrubbing and cleaning. Paints with a satin or gloss finish are generally recommended for painting damp rooms, like bathrooms.
  • Exterior paint: Exterior paints adhere to surfaces like stucco, brick or wood and are resistant to sun, wind, water and mildew. Exterior paint requires more resin and pigment, which increases the vapor fumes in the paint.
  • Spray paint: Spray paint is great for small DIY projects because the nozzle lets you apply the paint to a concentrated area in a thin “misted” coating. Using spray paint makes it easy to add as many layers as you need.
  • Acrylic paint: Use acrylic paint for all kinds of art projects. It works well on signs, wood, posters and styrofoam. Because it’s water based, acrylic paint is ideal for kids’ art projects, as it’s easy to clean up. Find acrylic paint at any craft store and at most hardware stores.
  • Enamel paint: Use enamel paint for furniture, ceramics, glass and metal. Enamel paint can be either water based or oil based and is more permanent than acrylic paint, so be careful to protect your work space. Find it in craft stores and most hardware stores.

Do tools and paint come with warranties?

Tools and paint should come with a lifetime or limited warranty. Warranties offer peace of mind for tool owners because they ensure tools will last under tough conditions.

  • Lifetime warranty: Lifetime warranties are always your best option and should be the first type you look for when shopping for tools. Power tools that carry lifetime warranties show good faith that the product is worth the money and will last.
  • Limited warranty: Limited warranties typically deal with products affected by faulty materials or workmanship. Common limited warranties cover your purchased product from one to 10 years.
  • Paint warranties: Most major paint brands offer long warranties on their paint. Lifetime paint warranties usually cover the lifetime of your house and include problems caused by defects in the finish. However, all paint fades over time so this normal wear and tear is not covered.

How do you order replacement parts for tools?

Before you buy tools, make sure you have access to replacement parts. You can purchase these either online or in hardware and home improvement stores. In most cases, you can enter the model number online or order and purchase a replacement part at your local hardware store.

  • Parts directory: The majority of tool manufacturers have a parts section on their website. Most have a database of all the models of tools they make, as well as their individual parts. You can search by part and/or model number to locate the correct one.
  • Local stores: Your nearest hardware or home improvement store will most likely have replacement parts for major manufacturer brands. If they don’t have it in stock, they can order parts for you. Just make sure you have your tool’s model number handy in case they need it.

Where can you buy home supplies and tools?

Chain home improvement stores

National home improvement store chains have large selections of tools. Most of them have paint departments where employees will mix paint to get the exact shade you want. Chain home improvement stores also carry large supplies of electrical and plumbing replacement parts.

Local hardware stores

Local hardware stores are a great place to look for electrical and plumbing parts. They’re more likely than chain stores to be able to order a part if they don’t have what you need.

Specialty paint stores

Specialty paint stores are able to mix any color of paint you need and provide the widest selection of types and finishes. They also have protective paint for your automotive and marine equipment needs. These specialty paints help prevent corrosion.

Online stores

You’ll be able to find just about any tool and part online. Online stores run promotions and deals that are hard to beat. Look for things like free shipping and discount codes.

Who’s your handyman persona?

Home improver/repairman

Homeownership requires a lot of diligence and proactivity to keep your home and property in working order. Supplies like hand and power tools, paint and other accessories are a necessity for any homeowner's garage. Check out your local home improvement or hardware store for the biggest selection and for information from employees.


If you’re a contractor, you’ll need to build up and maintain your tool supply. You’ll also need to keep parts regularly stocked so making friends with a local hardware store is important.


If you craft things out of wood you’ll need a various saws, sanders, paint and stain to properly tackle professional projects.


DIY projects might require you to find and use tools you don’t have on hand. Browse your local home improvement store for the biggest selection of tools, paints and parts.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Compare Reviews for Top Home Supplies and Tool Companies

    by Jonathan Trout ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Jonathan Trout believes having access to free, comprehensive information on products and businesses is vital to making smart purchasing decisions. He focuses his efforts on researching and reviewing multiple brands across a variety of industries, with the goal of writing unbiased buyers guides to help inform consumers on impending purchases.